Chelsea have made striker Romelu Lukaku available for transfer - but will only sell the Belgium international if they receive an offer worth €40 million. With Jose Mourinho on the brink of securing the signature of Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa, it seems the Portuguese coach has decided to sell the 21-year-old, providing the price is right.
This is information obtained and published by respected Sky Sports Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, who claims Italian giants Inter Milan and Juventus were interested in the possibility of loaning Lukaku with a view to a permanent transfer later down the line. But Chelsea are not prepared to send the striker out on loan for a third successive year - following spells at West Brom and Everton - and are only interested in a sale.
Last month it was reported that Chelsea were keen to extend Lukaku’s contract, which expires in the summer of 2016, unless they receive a substantial offer after the World Cup finals in Brazil. And that may still be the case, with the likes of Atletico Madrid, Everton, Arsenal and Tottenham all reportedly interested.
Chelsea’s valuation too high?
Whether any of the interested clubs are prepared to meet Chelsea’s valuation remains to be seen, but Lukaku is widely regarded as one of the most promising young strikers on the planet, and has the chance to further enhance his burgeoning reputation at the ongoing World Cup finals in Brazil.
Chelsea purchased Lukaku for an initial £10 million fee from Anderlecht in 2011 - and although his chances at Stamford Bridge have been limited, the youngster has still managed to score a hugely-impressive 32 Premier League goals in his 66 appearances on loan at the Hawthorns and Goodison Park.
Spain, England or Italy?
Having been in England for the last three years, Lukaku may want to move to another Premier League club. He knows he’s capable of scoring goals on a consistent basis in England’s top domestic league, where many of stars from the Belgium national team ply their trade.
On the other hand, a move to replace Costa at Atletico Madrid - the reigning La Liga champions - may prove particularly tempting. Diego Simeone is now regarded as one of the world’s best coaches after his miraculous exploits last season, and the chance to follow in the footsteps of former Vicente Calderon stars Diego Forlan, Sergio Aguero and Radamel Falcao will be difficult to say not to.
But if either Juventus or Inter cough up the cash, the Chelsea star could be headed to Serie A before the summer transfer window closes on September 2.